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Family & Employee Owned | Est. 1955 | Store Hours & Contact Info
Family & Employee Owned | Est. 1955 | Customer Service 1-800-336-8314
Ames Surplus JAX Mercantile history

The JAX Story

In 1955 Marvin and Lola Quinlan opened Ames Surplus in their home state of Iowa, where they mainly sold items purchased from government surplus sales. In 1980 18-year-old Jim Quinlan became manager of Ames Surplus while attending Iowa State University. Setting sales records and making plans for new building expansions, Jim decided to dedicated himself full-time to the family store.In 1983, Jim moved west to Fort Collins, CO and opened “Rocky Mountain Surplus” on the corner of College Avenue and Jefferson Street.

GI Jane Jax Mercantile History Fort Collins

Rocky Mountain Surplus became the birthplace of the original JAX mascot, G.I. Jane. When she was stolen, the story made national news when Paul Harvey reported it on his radio program, “The Rest of the Story.” Following the success of Rocky Mountain Surplus in Fort Collins Jim opened a second surplus store on 8th avenue in Greeley Co.

JAX Mercantile History

After 33 years in business the Dreher Family closed down JAX Surplus. Seeing an opportunity, Jim sold his location in Greeley and negotiated to move Rocky Mountain Surplus to the old JAX Surplus location and keep the JAX name.

In 1998, Marvin and Lola Quinlan retired. Jim purchased Ames Surplus from his parents.

On April 1st 2002, the former “Wheelers” store that opened in 1971 (then later became Country General store) on North 287 opened as the first “JAX Farm & Ranch” location. With this store, JAX was able to expand its product line to include an expanded line of hardware and paint, power equipment, ranching and equine supplies, western wear and lawn and garden items.

Country General Fort Collins JAX History
JAX Farm & Ranch History
JAX Mercantile Home Office
JAX Storefront

In 2008 JAX Outdoor Gear, Ranch & Home in Loveland became the first JAX store to house all JAX product categories.

In January 2009, JAX administrative employees were moved into a renovated cement plant the company had acquired. The site includes offices, warehouse and distribution, and a carpentry and metal shop. Accounting, Purchasing, Marketing, Human Resources, Facilities, IT, and our Web Department are all together on one campus.

In the Spring of 2010, JAX opened a fifth store in Lafayette, CO. This JAX became the second store to blend both product categories under one roof, and the first with a full bicycle department and shop. In 2013 the Lafayette store was split in two, with the original store becoming JAX Outdoor Gear Lafayette, and an empty storefront across the street being converted into JAX Ranch & Home of Lafayette.

Jax Storefront

2016 proved to be a momentous year for JAX Mercantile as the company opened JAX Outdoor Gear, Ranch & Home in Broomfield. This 7th JAX storefront includes over 90,000 square feet of retail space.

For years the Colorado Front Range stores have been a destination for Wyoming residents. In fall 2019, JAX opened JAX Outdoor Gear, Ranch & Home in the Cheyenne Frontier Mall. JAX is proud to offer Wyoming customers a convenient location for their outdoor and farm needs.

In September 2020, JAX opened its 9th store and the second store location in Loveland, CO in the former K-Mart. This location is readily accessible to westbound travelers heading to Rocky Mountain National Park.

Jim Quinlan JAX Mercantile Co Founder

In January, 2022, JAX became an employee-owned company with an employee stock ownership plan. With over 500 employees, JAX has long relied on knowledgeable and passionate employees to provide exceptional customer service. When asked why he thinks an ESOP is an important move for JAX, Jim said, “I hope to reward our dedicated and talented staff members who have committed years of their lives working to build the success of JAX. Our company sees all our employees as integral to the success and future of JAX. We believe employee insights and input as ESOP shareholders will help keep our company at the forefront of the changing retail business world and ensure they are full participants in our company’s future.”

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